Concept2 Biathlon at the Rogue Invitational

The Rogue Invitational, a CrossFit-sanctioned event, ran May 18–19, 2019 in Columbus, OH. You can watch the recorded livestream of the Concept2 Biathlon on YouTube

Biathlon grew from the traditions of hunting and battle in winter. It is now an Olympic sport, with a winter-long series of World Cups every year. It is hugely popular in Europe, and becoming more and more popular in the US.

Biathlon is an especially challenging and exciting sport because it combines very different disciplines:

  • Work: Skiing on snow traditionally. This is the race—a test of speed and strength.
  • Shooting: This is the test of accuracy and mental focus.
  • Penalty (time or work): This is the motivation to shoot well.

Thanks to our friends at US Biathlon for letting us use this video and share the excitement of biathlon!

The Biathlon Race

Biathlon races can have different types of formats, involving combinations of skiing, shooting prone and shooting standing.

The Rogue Invitational/Concept2 Biathlon event format was:

  • Work: Four rounds on the Concept2 SkiErg of 40/30 Calories (men/women).
  • Shooting (air rifle): Prone/standing/prone at a distance of 10 meters.
  • Penalty for each missed shot: Run to do three kettlebell thrusters and return run to the SkiErg.

Intro To Biathlon

In this video, US Olympic Biathlete Hannah Dreissigacker, and her brother Ethan, Craftsbury Outdoor Center Biathlon Coach, introduce you to the sport.

Shooting Overview

This video gives you an overview of the mechanics of the shooting portion of the competition. You will learn about basic safety, body position, sight picture, alignment and aiming.

For athletes participating in the Rogue Invitational, you will receive further instruction prior to the event.

Tips and Tricks

Every competitive biathlete has to have a strong mental game going into the race. Your focus, preparation, and race plan are critical to having the best race possible. This video gives you some helpful tips and tricks.

SkiErg

Most of you are already familiar with the SkiErg, but we’ve gathered these resources in case you wish to review them.

SkiErg Technique Review

Questions from Rogue Invitational Competitors

How can I practice shooting?

The kind of rifle you use for practice depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to get a general feel for shooting for accuracy with an elevated heart rate, almost any rifle will do; a .22cal (air or live ammo) would be fine.

If you want to more closely reproduce the event conditions, there are three main factors to consider:

  • Sights: All biathlon rifles use diopter sights (a scope will give a different experience).
  • Target size/range distance: We will be using a 10m range with 35mm diameter targets. If you increase your range distance (because you are using a .22cal rifle for instance) you will want to use targets sized to that ratio.
  • Bolting/Magazines: Modern biathlon rifles use 5 shot magazines for rapid bolting. This would not be a critical factor in practice, but something to keep in mind.

Special thanks to:
Ethan Dreissigacker, Craftsbury Outdoor Center Biathlon Coach.
Hannah Dreissigacker, US Olympic Biathlete Sochi 2014.
Members of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, an Olympic development biathlon program.
The Craftsbury Outdoor Center.